When can I sell fireworks?
The periods where selling fireworks without a licence is permitted are:

  • November 5th, from 15th October and ending on 10th November
  • New Year, from 26th December and ending on the 31st December
  • Chinese New Year, the first day and the three days immediately preceding it
  • Diwali, and the three days immediately preceding it.

However a licence can be obtained from your local council to sell fireworks all year round for approx £500.

 

Do I need a licence or registration to store fireworks?

You will almost certainly need to register or obtain a licence to store fireworks.  The best route is to contact your local council.
Registration allows the storage of up to 250kg of fireworks, with prices averaging at £105 for a new applicant and £52 for a renewal for a 12 month period.
Obtaining a licence allows 2 tonnes of fireworks to be stored, with prices averaging at £178 for a new application and £83 for a renewal for a 12 month period.

 

Are there different categories of fireworks?

There are four categories of fireworks.

  • Category 1 - indoor fireworks, for use in small areas.
  • Category 2 - garden fireworks; must be safely viewable from 5 meters and must not scatter debris beyond 3 meters.
  • Category 3 - display fireworks; must be safely viewable from 25 meters and must not scatter debris beyond 50 meters.
  • Category 4 - professional fireworks; a person must have adequate insurance and storage to purchase and use these fireworks. Insurance can only be obtained once they have a knowledge of the safe use and storage of Category 4 fireworks. There is no such thing as a "license" to buy or use Category 4 fireworks.

The Fireworks (Safety) Regulations 1997 (as amended), specify those which may be supplied to the general public.
All other fireworks may only be supplied to a restricted range of persons and organisations which are specified in the 1997 Regulations.

 

How should I sell fireworks?

You must act responsibly; fireworks should not be sold to anyone less than 18 years of age and safe use should be encouraged. Retail support posters will be supplied with each order from Panther Fireworks which contain appropriate safety posters.
Fireworks should be sold in manufacturers’ packed sets. The contents of these must not be taken out of their packs and sold separately. Only some sparklers and some larger individual devices may be sold unpacked.
Before you can supply or transfer more than 50 kg net of fireworks to someone, that person must show you a valid registration or licence.
Licensing authorities may request to see information about firework transactions exceeding 50kg net explosive content in particular – the date that the fireworks were supplied, the date that the supplier supplied to another person, or proposed to supply and the total weight.

 

How should fireworks be stored and displayed?

There are two ‘Modes’ – set of rules – for keeping fireworks for sale at registered premises.

  • Mode A requires a safe and secure building or room not attached to a dwelling and used only for storing fireworks, up to a maximum weight of 1000kg (NEC).
  • Mode B allows the storage of up to 250kg (NEC) of fireworks in a building which is also used for other purposes, with strict regulations about how they are contained.The following details come under Mode B

Sales Area Storage
Under MSER the maximum amount allowed in the shop area is dependant upon the size of the shop floor area.

Total floor area of the sales area.
(Square Metres)

Maximum quantity of fireworks that may be kept under registration. (NEC kg)

Up to 20
Up to 40
Up to 60
Up to 80
Up to 100
Up to 150
Up to 200
Up to 250
Up to 300
Up to 350
Up to 400
Up to 450
Up to 500
500 and over

12.5
15
20
23
30
35
40
45
50
55
60
65
70
75

Fireworks in the sales area must be contained in a display case, storage cupboard or cabinet with a maximum of 12.5kg NEC per unit.

  • Fireworks can be stored elsewhere in the building but must be kept in closed metal containers.  Each container must hold not more than 50kg.
  • Any container being used for storing fireworks must not contain other items.
  • When fireworks are actually being sold, keep them exposed for as little time as possible.  In any case, the maximum amount of fireworks that can be exposed at one time is 2kg (NEC).
  • You (and your employees) must take due care to prevent unauthorised access to any fireworks and avoid accidents by fire.
  • You must keep anything flammable (or likely to cause a fire or explosion) a safe distance away from any fireworks, however they are being stored.
  • Under the new regulations licensing authorities may request to see information about firework transactions exceeding 50kgs nec explosive content in particular – the date that the fireworks were supplied, the date that the supplier supplied to another person, or proposed to supply and the total weight.

A leaflet giving information about storing and selling fireworks safely may be viewed and downloaded free of charge at www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/indg407.pdf

Here are some key points
• exclude sources of ignition
• stop people smoking anywhere near fireworks
• keep fireworks away from space heaters
• avoid handling of fireworks unnecessarily
• keep fireworks in closed transport packaging
• don’t decant fireworks into metal dustbins
• don’t store fireworks near flammable articles that could lead to a fire spreading to the fireworks
• don’t store fireworks near other articles that could spread the fire.
• don’t store with flammable substances such as white spirit or nylon tights
and stockings
• don’t store near pallets, cardboard boxes and paper
• don’t store near parked vehicles
• ensure that all fireworks in the shop sales area are kept in a suitable display
or storage cabinet
• ensure all escape routes and fire exits are clear and fire exit doors unlocked
• don’t store or display anywhere near an escape route or fire exit
• don’t store an excessive amount either in the shop or in the stockroom
• don’t store more than you are allowed to store under your licence or
registration

Please note you must take special precautions if you share a building with flats or maisonettes. Please contact your Local Authority or Fire Service for more information.

 

What special fire precautions are needed?

Your premises should already meet specific fire regulations, the following is additional advice for the period while you are selling fireworks and is not an absolute declaration of your obligations.

  • Don’t store fireworks in passageways or under stairs and keep these clear at all times. Don’t obstruct any doors.
  • Keep water-type fire extinguishers handy and make sure they are properly maintained. Buckets of water or sand are useful as a standby.
  • Make sure you (and any staff) know how to call the Fire Service quickly.
  • Have a display notice that tells everyone what to do if there is a fire.
  • If someone suspects a fire, get everyone out of your shop and call the Fire Service immediately. As soon as the Fire Officer arrives, tell him or her that fireworks are involved and explain where and how the fireworks are stored